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Geek Review: Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 Series Gaming Chair

Gaming is often synonymous with RGB bling and flashy designs, so it’s easy to understand the rationale behind separating the gamer aesthetic from the workplace. Having that extra touch of flamboyance in a professional space, after all, can prove to be a distracting attraction at times, especially when contrasted against a muted, subdued office setting.

With the Secretlab Omega 2018 Gaming Chair, the distinction between work and play has been streamlined into an integrated design. In lieu of loud and ostentatious hues is a stealthy new look that blends seamlessly into the office – an endeavour the homegrown company has decided to bring over to its latest TITAN Evo 2022 Series as well.

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The company has long had two models, the Omega and Titan, and the key differences here are that the Titan is larger, and offers a lumbar support adjustment feature, and the Titan Evo 2022 looks to merge the two into one.

The new offering, at first glance, doesn’t look all that different from the Game of Thrones ‘Iron Anniversary’ Edition Chair. It oozes the same brand of quiet elegance, sporting a two-toned leatherette backrest with accents of red threading, as well as the gold weaving of the Secretlab logo and TITAN emblem that are both also stamped on the back. And as always, it comes in various colours and cover materials, to best suit user needs.

The thing about gaming chairs, most of which are designed based on actual race car seats, is that they were modelled after features that don’t always make sense in the real world. For one thing, the openings in some designs were meant for racing harnesses to keep drivers bolted in position, while the lateral support has been designed to block drivers from shifting side to side during cornering.

Secretlab ditched the openings from its Throne V2 years ago, but kept the lateral supports and design wise, it has kept the same overall structure for the Titan Evo, though the chair now comes in three sizes to fit the different body types of users everywhere. 

There’s no more Omega for regular sized folks, and Titan for larger chaps, as the Titan Evo comes in Small, Regular, and XL, and to differentiate between the three, as well as the editions of its new line-up, a small flap indicating the selection in gold weaving has been stitched onto the left side. The default armrests, meanwhile, continue to be decked out in black, with more customisable options due to launch in time to come. 

Beyond the surface, however, are where improvements and quality-of-life upgrades come into play. One of the new features of the TITAN Evo is an overhauled lumbar support system that introduces four-way adjustability to allow for a better spinal fit. Unlike the two-directional set-up in the older model, the lumbar can be moved up and down or in or out via a knob along the frame on each side. 

Built within the chair is a flexible plate that can be shifted, to suit the curve of your spine, and what’s new, aside from adjusting it up and down, is that you can now shift freely on your seat side by side, without feeling an obstacle in the way. The flexible plate allows more movement to your back, while still providing that support.

This added touch of flexibility is a nice touch, especially since spine curvature differs from one individual to another. The effort to incorporate ergonomics into gaming chairs is undoubtedly commendable, but it also leaves some room for refinement, from minor gripes such as the placement of the knobs to more major concerns like implementation. 

For starters, the knobs are positioned awkwardly high on the sides, such that users have to flare their elbows out at a near-90 degree angle to reach them. While the turning is smooth, the effect of the lumbar adjustment is hardly noticeable when seated – even as one leans against the backrest – which makes it slightly difficult to change settings on the fly. Instead, its presence is best felt with the touch of a palm, so you’ll have to feel it in place first, then align it accordingly after sitting down. Or get a friend to make the adjustments while you’re seated.

The new lumbar also takes some adjusting to, and depending on the user, isn’t always the best in terms of functionality. Because it rubs into the lower back instead of bracing it firmly, long hours at the desk can be slightly uncomfortable, especially if users aren’t used to the nudging sensation that reminds of its constant presence. Compared to the more ergonomic choices on the market, the lumbar system here doesn’t feel like it fully supports one’s back, but the thought is nevertheless appreciated. 

Secretlab’s new magnetic CloudSwap replacement system, meanwhile, is a pleasant change. Making its welcome debut with the chair’s full-metal 4D armrests, it allows users to easily swap out to their preferred material in literal seconds – all they have to do is remove the existing armrests by lifting up the base, and snap the new selection in place with the magnetic force. 

The seamless process offers a lot of room for customisation, and Secretlab promises that more swappable options will be available in due time (a cup holder, please). As it stands, the default armrests can be upgraded to the Secretlab Technogel Premium Armrest Top, offering a comfortable memory gel experience that improves pressure relief and weight distribution.

Resting on the armrest will cause it to sink in slightly for better accommodation of your wrists and elbows – a cushy feeling that remains even after prolonged periods of inactivity. There was also no evident detection of heat-trapping, with the underside of one’s arm kept constantly cool as the day progressed. The adjustment of armrest height and positioning proved to be smooth and simple, sporting zero signs of jerky sliding or jammed latches. 

A slight gripe about the memory gel option is its magnetic-attracting nature that rings up the need for constant maintenance and cleaning. As the surface retains oil residue and smudges very easily, unsightly fingerprints will be a given. A possible way to increase the aesthetic appeal here is to introduce some designs to show through the translucent material of the armrest, and it’d be cool if Secretlab were to bring this in.

One thing to note here is that the final product will look different, as the team is still working on refining the details present in this review build, which is an early sample. Improved functionality and design elements, as such, are expected when it finally lands on the market.

This display of magnetic magic has been brought over the head pillow as well. Where the headrests for previous Secretlab iterations come with elastic straps in tow, the TITAN Evo ditches them in favour of a strap-free magnetic approach, which means can now just slide it up or down the backrest, via magnets and metal panels on the pillow, for the perfect placement against the head, or curve of the neck.

So when you’re deciding which size chair to get, also consider the placement of the pillow on the headrest. The magnets on the headrest allow for small adjustment for pillow height, so consider getting the chair that offers the right pillow placement. 

Here’s a pro tip: If you want some cheap fun after hours of slogging through your work, simply pluck the headrest off the chair, stand a few feet away, and toss it to the targeted headrest area on the backrest, to see if it attaches. #ModernProblemsRequireModernSolutions

Oops, back to work. The pillow looks the same for the most part, except now the top cuts a more svelte and curvy silhouette. Comfort, as mentioned earlier, still reigns here, as the memory foam on the pillow is softer and more malleable, providing greater comfort when resting your head on it. And with the cooling gel keeping warmth from accumulating, as well as the snuggly surface allowing the head to easily sink in, be careful as a 10-minute nap on the TITAN Evo can easily turn into an hour-long rest instead. 

Ergonomic comfort extends to yet another new feature in the form of a redesigned proprietary pebble seat base. Combining the best of the OMEGA and TITAN, it guides the body toward the middle of the seat for optimal support, while leaving some room for users to sit cross-legged. 

Indeed, the seated experience was free of the warmth and pesky stickiness that usually comes with sitting on a leather surface for prolonged periods – and in the latter case, in shorts or bermudas. The increased base area, meanwhile, brings greater ease to the positioning process, where one doesn’t have to shift around in the chair to transition between crossing or straightening their legs. 

On the note of its material, the TITAN Evo has been upgraded to boast a new-generation premium leatherette that recreates the luster of NAPA leather. Compared to Secretlab’s signature PRIME 2.0 PU leather, this version has been built to last even longer than before, with an added touch of resilience to boot. Personal preferences, however, dictate that PU leather isn’t necessarily everyone’s choice material. The backrest’s brand of toughness might take a little while to get used to, so those who want softer, more breathable comfort right off the bat can opt for the SoftWeave alternative that nabbed our Editor’s Choice with the TITAN 2020 Series

As with all Secretlab chairs, the TITAN Evo also offers up to 165 degrees of smooth and steady recline, which elevates the definition of “sit back and relax” to greater heights. The assembly process has been kept simple in continued fashion, with provided instructions and pre-installed components reducing build time to under 20 minutes. Despite the ease, it’s recommended to rope in extra help to piece the chair together, as the heavy-lifting work may be physically demanding for one person, especially those of a slighter stature. 

Rounding off the TITAN Evo experience are several quality-of-life upgrades, including shorter hydraulics, better-angled levers for easier reach, and a revamped recline handle. These have carried over to the actual chair pretty well, though it’d be nice to see improvements across two more areas: increased gliding smoothness with the wheels, and a better fit for shorter individuals at the lowest height. 

Starting from S$499 for the small variant, the Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 Series is testament to the company’s drive to reach for the stars by combining the best of its OMEGA and TITAN predecessors to exude a familiar yet freshly-premium appeal. The upgraded member isn’t perfect, stumbling mainly in the execution of lumbar technology, but its mix of ergonomics, functionality, and comfort remains unparalleled in the gaming chair market, having been ingrained into its DNA since its inception. 

The chair will be available in the following versions on the official website for local audiences:

Secretlab NEO Hybrid LeatheretteSecretlab SoftWeave Plus Fabric
SmallS$499S$529
RegularS$549S$579
XLS$639S$669

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

A worthy successor to the OMEGA and TITAN series of chairs, the TITAN Evo is the best upgrade gaming enthusiasts can ask for – ergonomically, comfort, or otherwise. 

Overall
9.3/10
9.3/10
  • Aesthetics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 9.7/10
    9.7/10


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